First Presbyterian Church April 2017
The Pizza Slices of Our Lives
In my last sermon, I talked about a class I was taking on Bowen’s “Family System Theory”, and I want to tell you all some more about it. The Biblical text for that morning was Genesis chapter sixteen, which is a story about Abraham, his first wife Sarah and his second wife Hagar. Surprisingly enough, the two women who are married to the same man do not get along very well, and a very bad relationship triangle ensues. Hagar eventually gets out of this dysfunctional family, with God’s help, so the story does have a good if not happy ending to it.
I did not pick this Bible passage to remind the congregation that polygamy is a bad idea, as I assumed we all believed that. Rather, I chose this text because it illustrates an aspect of Family Systems Theory called “triangulation”. Whenever three people have a relationship with each other, say two parents and a child, there is a relationship triangle formed. However, if a fourth person comes into the picture, say a second child, this creates more relationship triangles, and pretty soon we get into complex geometry.
I thought about the major triangles in my life, and how they interconnect with each other. Visually, I pictured a pizza that had been cut into slices with me at the center point where all the slices meet. One slice might be the triangle created by Genevieve, myself and my work here at the church, as a job can have a life of its own after all. On the other side of that might be the triangle of Genevieve, myself and her work as a doctor. I can keep adding slices if I think about the relationships I have with Elyse, other family and friends, hobbies, etc.
In my sermon, I talked about how we need to try to keep a healthy balance in the triangles in our lives. For example, at a previous clinic Genevieve’s patients were mostly migrant workers, and their numbers dramatically increase in the fall when it is time to pick apples, etc. She used to work very long hours in those days, and she did not have as much time for me, which metaphorically stretched that pizza slice. However, the stretching was done by winter time, and then we would readjust ourselves to having more family time once the busy season was done.
The real trick is to manage the pushes and pulls that one gets from all the other triangular relationships that you have. Our life’s “pizza” can get pretty stretched and twisted from all the competing forces that act upon us, as we try to keep our lives in balance. Even if you are not in a bad relationship triangle like Hagar was, we all need God to help with the twists and turns that come our way. Change is inevitable, but by the grace of God we can adjust to it with hope and faith.
Rev. Walter Stuber
First Presbyterian Church
11988 W. Main St., Wolcott, NY 14590
Eleven of our Sunday School and Youth were in Beauty and the Beast. Fun was had by all, and they did a great job. Your Church is proud of you all.
Our checkbook balance was $3,635.85. We collected $39.95, making our new total $3,675.80. Thank you, everyone, for your support.
Youth meetings are on April 2nd and April 30th.
- Mary Lou
Food Pantry wish list: jams & jellies, fruit, pork & beans, baked beans.
- Mary Lou
Fellowship & Outreach
Thank you to Beth Dunton and Pastor Walter for providing fun for the St. Patrick’s dish-to-pass fellowship. We had thirty-one who joined in on the fun.
- Mary Lou
2 Cents a Meal
March’s collection was $86.00, making our total to date for this year $243.00. Great job, everyone!
- Mary Lou
Women’s Association Spring Rummage Sale
Spring is here and the Women’s Association is planning their annual Spring Rummage Sale on May 4th, 5th, and 6th. Remember us when the Spring Cleaning URGE gets to you. We not only need your good but no-longer needed items, we NEED your HELP!!
Many thanks to all who helped with the Historical Society’s Annual dinner-meeting. I’m always looking for volunteers and really appreciate all the help the men and women give me to make this a success. I know I couldn’t have seen this through without each of you. Thank you so much.
April 5th: Noon Lenten Luncheon, Wolcott FUMC
April 9th: Palm Sunday Cantata performances: 4 p.m. at the Wolcott FUMC and again
at 7 p.m. at the North Rose UMC
April 10th: Red Cross Blood Drive from 2-7 p.m., Wolcott FUMC
April 13th: Maundy Thursday service, 7 p.m., at the Front Line Ministries in Wolcott
April 14th: Stations of the Cross/Cross Walk through Wolcott; starts at Village
Park at noon
Good Friday service, 7 p.m., at the Rose United Methodist Church
April 16th: Easter Sunrise Service, 7 a.m., at the Wolcott Village Park, followed by
breakfast at the First Baptist Church
May 3rd: National Day of Prayer, Village Park at 12:00 noon.
May 4th-6th: Spring Rummage Sale. Set up May 1st – 3rd. Save your goodies. If you
need things picked up, give the church or Mary Lou a call.
May 6th: Crop Walk; sign-up at 8:00 a.m., walk at 8:30 a.m.
June 9th: Ham Dinner
June 17th: Strawberry Festival
“I gave my students an assignment to explain a major challenge facing people of faith
today, in thirty seconds or less, and to be creative!
The first two students stood up, and, after briefly naming some challenges that people
face today (peer pressure, cultural differences, obesity, depression, school problems),
they put their arms around each other and said nothing. For twenty seconds, there
was simply silence. Finally, one of them said, ‘One of the big challenges for people of
faith is answering too fast and loving too slow.’
As a teacher, I’ve committed my life to helping students know and care about right
answers. But there are days when I’m reminded that the right answer sometimes isn’t
in the words that we speak, but in just being there for people, caring for them, loving
them. That’s the professor’s lesson for today – one he learned from his students.
Submitted by Mary Lou